The county highway department’s radio system may be upgraded as it is said to be outdated.

Parts of the system are from the 1980s, said Franklin County Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke.

Highway department employees are unable to hear each other on the current system, Gadcke said.

“We are trying to improve communication,” she said.

Improving the system is especially vital for emergencies, Gadcke said, noting that some areas of the county do not have cellphone service.

“It’s very important that we be able to communicate with each other by radio,” she said.

The county recently accepted three bids for the project, and those costs are now under advisement.

Gadcke said she hopes a bid can be awarded at next Tuesday’s county commission meeting. She said her department is still trying to get some questions about maintenance and warranties answered by the firms that made the bids.

Another part of the project would relocate the main antenna to a higher location.

A tower in the Krakow area is being considered for the new antenna site.

“It’s the highest tower in the area to put our antenna on,” Gadcke said.

The current radio tower in Union is under 300 feet high, she said, noting that the new one would be about 480 feet.

Replacing antennas on some of the highway department vehicles also would be part of the project, Gadcke said.

The firms that submitted bids were Radio Comm of Washington, $17,075; A&W Communications of Eolia, $13,959; and Wireless USA of Maryland Heights, $40,068.